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The Cost of Incarceration in NYS: Erie County

Date: Apr 13, 2021
Author(s): Vera Institute of Justice
Topic(s): Criminal Justice: Crime, Criminal Justice: General, Criminal Justice: Incarceration, Government: Budgets
Type: Fact Sheet

New York invests billions of dollars to hold people behind bars in local jails. In total, in 2019 Erie County spent more than $96.3 million on its jails. That is a conservative estimate because it does not include debt service on the jails, buildings and grounds costs, insurance, and other expenses. Every dollar spent on jails comes at the expense of funding other services that could help to build healthy and safe communities.

This fact sheet summaries the cost of incarceration in WNY by The Vera Institute of Justice.  It highlights several statistics including: 

  • "In Erie County, the average daily jail population has shrunk by 62 percent since 2012, but its spending on jails has decreased only 2 percent, even when accounting for inflation."
  • " In 2019, Erie County spent: more than 637 times as much on the jails as on employment services,  more than 4.2 times as much on the jails as on public health, and  more than 130 times as much on the jail as on housing assistance."